Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of manufacturers choose the right CPQ software so they can provide accurate price quotes and boost sales.

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iQuoteXpress

iQuoteXpress (IQX) is a sales proposal automation solution that reduces the time and costs it takes to make sales quotes by more than half. Used across almost every vertical—tech, real estate, manufacturing, education, and more—IQ... Read more

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Verenia CPQ

Verenia CPQ is a cloud-based configure price quote (CPQ) solution for businesses in industries such as distribution, manufacturing, and e-commerce. Key features include product visualization, price quotations, CRM and ERP integrat... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Configure One

Configure One CPQ is a cloud-based product configurator designed specifically for products that are configurable, customizable or have multiple options. The configurator solution is compatible with both large and small businesses.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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eRep CPQ

eRep CPQ is a cloud-based configure price quote (CPQ) solution designed for businesses across various industries such as HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, electrical, control industrials, and more. Key features include approval wor... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Keap

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is a cloud-based sales and marketing solution that offers customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and e-commerce functionalities in one suite. Keap helps small businesses across v... Read more

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mHelpDesk

mHelpDesk is a field service solution that helps customers automate everything from first customer contact to getting paid. This includes customer management, quoting, dispatching, invoicing, billing and reporting. mHelpDesk ... Read more

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Jobber

Jobber is a cloud-based field service management software solution that allows small and midsize service businesses to manage field staff, provide customer support, and expand business operations either through a mobile app or a d... Read more

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Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a client management solution that provides a platform for businesses to organize and track interactions with potential or existing clients and partners. The software allows users to log and manage client interactions, ... Read more

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Odoo

Odoo Point of Sale (POS) is part of Odoo’s integrated suite of business applications. The module is available both on and offline and provides unified data across stores and has an integrated inventory management function. Od... Read more

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Qwilr

Qwilr is a cloud-based sales documentation and request for proposal (RFP) solution. It offers audit trail features, sales and marketing document storage, a content repository and analytics functionalities. Qwilr features a te... Read more

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ServiceM8

ServiceM8 is a cloud-based field service management solution with landscaping business management capabilities which enables service businesses to schedule, deploy and manage all their field activities from a single solution. ... Read more

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Proposify

Proposify is a cloud-based proposal software suitable for web design and marketing companies of all sizes. Proposify allows users to select proposals from a range of templates or customize proposals as needed. The proposal ed... Read more

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RFP360

RFP360 is a proposal management solution that helps teams to manage end-to-end request for proposal (RFP) management and proposal creation. Key features include proposal creation, publishing, collaboration, advanced search, task m... Read more

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JobBOSS

JobBOSS Shop Management Solutions, an ECi Software Solutions company, is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution built for small and midsize manufacturers in North America. It allows key office and production staff to manag... Read more

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shopVOX

shopVOX is a cloud-based platform for small to large businesses, which helps automate and streamline all processes related to manufacturing of custom products. The centralized platform comes with job boards, which let users create... Read more

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Scoro

Scoro is a cloud-based professional services solution for small to midsize companies in advertising, consulting, IT and other industries. The solution provides a control hub that displays pending tasks, account information, key pe... Read more

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Fergus

Fergus is a cloud-based field service and job management solution designed for small and medium-sized businesses. The platform helps users manage a variety of jobs including quoting, estimating, scheduling, contact management, job... Read more

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Better Proposals

Better Proposals is a proposal management software that helps businesses create, share and organize custom proposals and cover pages. The platform includes customizable templates, which allows organizations to design personalized ... Read more

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Proposable

Proposable is a cloud-based proposal management solution for small to medium size businesses that helps users create, track and sign formal proposals. From sending trackable web-based proposals to finalizing deals, the solution au... Read more

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Tradify

Tradify is a cloud-based construction and field service solution for energy, electrical, construction and plumbing companies. Primary features include online job management, scheduling, quoting, invoicing, materials tracking and r... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: March 15, 2021

These days, business clients expect instant price estimates when they contact manufacturers for quotes. Providing a quote upon initial inquiry has now become much more streamlined and is no longer a significant bottleneck in the sales cycle. This is due in part to the rise of configure-price-quote (CPQ) software.

We’ve created this guide to help you understand what CPQ software is and how it can benefit your business. In this guide, we’ll cover:

(Click on a link below to jump to that section.)

What Is CPQ Software?
Common Features of CPQ Solutions
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Pricing Models

What Is CPQ Software?

CPQ software is used by sales professionals to provide cost estimates for custom orders, often in the context of a built-to-order manufacturing operation. With a CPQ solution, a salesperson can use requirements, order volume and other details from the client to generate an estimate on the spot. It is critical for streamlining the sales process and ensuring that sales prospects do not fall through the cracks because they did not receive a prompt estimate.

CPQ software often integrates with a manufacturer’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, and in some cases with their material requirements planning (MRP) system, further streamlining the sales-to-manufacturing process. In other situations, the CPQ solution might be one module within a broader CRM or MRP suite.

Common Features of CPQ Solutions

Although each system is likely to have its own unique characteristics that may make it a better or worse fit for your business, there are a handful of core features common to most CPQ solutions. In the table below, we take a look at those common features you’ll find in most products:

Analytics Provides detailed reports and data, typically in a dashboard format, of sales KPIs and other business metrics of how the CPQ system has been used in the past. Some platforms can do forecasting or other predictive analytics to gauge what future sales and configurations will be like.
Guided selling Sales professionals can easily find suitable products automatically, based on the client’s needs and requirements.
Price and quote The core feature of a CPQ system, price and quote sets the price based on a client’s requirements and delivers the quote to the client.
Renewal management Assists sales professionals in maintaining standing orders or renewed orders with their clients.
Product configuration Allows businesses to set logic rules for how products can be configured and what degree of customization a customer can choose.
Mobile compatibility Many CPQ platforms offer mobile compatible apps for sales professionals that are on the go. These apps are usually just as fully featured as their desktop counterparts.

Salesforce Steelbrick price quoting on iPad

Salesforce Steelbrick price quoting on iPad. Source: SteelBrick.com

What Type Of Buyer Are You?

CPQ software is most often used by midsize and larger organizations with extensive product lines or those that offer a large degree of customization for customers when ordering.

The types of businesses most likely to deploy a CPQ solution usually have large sales teams who must be continuously kept in the loop about product changes and development. CPQ software is also used by sales teams that have trouble managing and neatly organizing a large volume of custom sales orders and inquiries.

That said, smaller businesses that are growing rapidly may wish to deploy CPQ software, as it can give them a competitive edge by enabling them to quickly turn around price quotes back to customers.

Pricing Models

Most modern CPQ systems are cloud-based and typically priced as a monthly subscription, based on the size of the buyer's business or the number of named users. The advantages of cloud-based systems include:

  • Easier deployment (since the software is accessed online, rather than installed on the users' own local servers)
  • Shorter implementation time (for the same reason)
  • Automatic updates pushed out by the vendor (rather than the user having to install updates themselves manually)

However, some CPQ software vendors might offer CPQ software that is hosted on-premise and priced as a perpetual license. Typically with perpetual licenses, however, annual fees for support and maintenance still apply.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both pricing models. Smaller organizations tend to be attracted to the lower upfront costs associated with monthly subscriptions.

However, be aware that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of subscription-based products tends to converge with that of perpetual license-based products over time. While you'll pay less upfront for a subscription, the subscription fee recurs monthly, whereas with a perpetual license, recuring fees are much lower and tend to be less frequent (e.g. annual fees for maintenance or upgrades). Check out our TCO calculator tool to learn more or compare costs of specific products.